Thursday 24 March 2016

Domestic Water Sources - Wells and Cisterns

Dealing with recreational and rural properties means looking at a lot of extra details. One of the big ones we ask/get asked is where does the water come from? The answer can vary from rain water collection, to a water licence on a local creek, to a well.

Wells generally come in two forms - dug wells and drilled wells. A dug well does not mean necessarily dug by hand, a bucket auger may be used for deeper wells. You will often hear Ed or Shelley reference these types of wells as shallow or deep dug wells, meaning  the depth of the well. Drilled wells are just as they sound, drilled by a machine to reach water.

The level of the underground water aquifer, the type of ground material, and the cost of the project all help determine what type of well will be installed. In BC a well should be installed by a qualified well pump installer, and there are specific rules that should be followed during installation. These rules are set out in the Ground Water Protection Regulations of BC.

Rain water collection can be as simply as a barrel to collect rain water to as complex as a cistern system that collects rain water from gutters and stores it in a large holding tank. These holdings tanks can be away from the main property and feed water through a pipe system, or they can be under a deck or patio connected to the house. Depending on demand a good winter of rain can supply enough water to meet the needs of a recreational property, while more full time properties (such as those on some of the Gulf Islands) may purchase water to refill the cistern in a dry summer.

Water licences are regulated by the Province. More information on this water source can be found in this blog post.

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